ST. CLOUD -- The holidays have officially come and gone and now it's time to pay your credit card bill. The Better Business Bureau has some tips on how you can take care of your finances after spending more during the Christmas season.

The first piece of advice the BBB suggests is setting a household budget or making adjustments to an already existing budget. You can find some extra funds as you dig into what you're spending your money on, eliminate non-essential spending and this can help you pay off your debt balance faster. Also, there are several apps you can download to help you balance your budget and many major banks offer a breakdown of your spending, this information can usually be found on your online account.

Other tips to consider, the BBB says to choose a method that's going to work for you. Some experts recommend rolling smaller debts together, others say you should prioritize which debts have the highest interest rate and pay those debts off first. Whichever method you choose to pay off your debt be sure to stick with it.

The BBB says if you are in times of hardship, talking to your credit card company about a "hardship plan" can be beneficial, most of these plans include lowering your credit card's interest rate. Debt consolidation is also an option, although the BBB warns that this can be tricky and often leads to positive and negative effects.

If you are still not sure how to handle your debt situation you go through credit counseling. Credit counseling can help you make long-term plans on how to best pay off your debt.

If you're looking for a credit counseling service in St. Cloud, the BBB has several recommendations on their website, just follow the link below.

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